Concise history of gun control in Britain
And boy did those draconian gun laws come, one after the other: 1937 (ban on short-barreled shotguns and fully automatic rifles), 1946 (the year the government adopted the position that self-defence would no longer be deemed an adequate reason for being granted a firearms certificate), 1953 (Prevention of Crime Act outlawed the carrying of an "offensive weapon" and put the burden of proof on anyone found with an "offensive weapon" such as a knife, to prove that he had a reasonable excuse), 1967 (the Criminal Justice Act's shotgun controls), 1982 (replica guns that could be converted to fire live ammunition), 1988 (ban on semi-automatic centre-fire rifles and pump-action rifles and even stricter shotgun controls), 1997 (ban on all handguns except for antique and muzzle-loading black powder guns, firearms of historic interest whose ammunition is no longer available and firearms of historic interest with current calibres). . . .
Useful article on the slippery slope.